EWU Eagles

Eagles picked to win Big Sky football title, again

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Eagles proved the prognosticators right in 2018, so they'll try to do the same thing again in 2019.
For the second-straight year, the Eastern Washington University football team has been picked to win the 2019 league title by both the coaches and media as the picks were released Monday (July 15) at the Big Sky Conference Football Kickoff in Spokane. The Eagles are the defending NCAA Football Championship Subdivision runner-up after sharing the Big Sky Conference title with UC Davis and Weber State.
It's the third time since 2014 the Eagles have been picked No. 1 in both polls, and in 2015 EWU was selected first by the media. In 2016 the Eagles were fourth by the coaches and third by the media, and in 2017 Eastern was second in both. In 2013, EWU was second in both as well.
"We are humbled and grateful to the coaches and media for determining our football team as the Big Sky Conference preseason No. 1 team," said Eastern head coach Aaron Best, who enters his third season at the helm and 23rd overall as an EWU player or coach. "Everyone aspires to be No. 1, and our mission will be to be champions at the end of the 2019 campaign after all the scores have been kept."
Since winning the league and NCAA Division I titles in 2010, Eastern has won Big Sky championships in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2018, giving the Eagles a total of 10 league titles. Despite losing 25 seniors from last year's squad that finished 12-3 overall and 7-1 in the league, Eastern has another veteran squad with 22 seniors and 48 total letter winners back.
Players report for preseason practices beginning Aug. 1, with the first practice together taking place on Aug. 4. The first practice with media availability of players and coaches is Monday, Aug. 5 at 3 p.m. (interviews at 2:35 p.m.). Eastern will practice four weeks leading up to the team's opener at Washington on Aug. 31, and the home opener the next week on Sept. 7 versus Lindenwood.

"Nothing is ever earned on paper and must be substantiated on the field of play," added Best. "Our 2019 Eastern Washington football team is looking forward to this season to be underway soon. We must understand the challenges of a 12-game schedule with seven road contests, and the rigors of an always tough Big Sky Conference schedule."
More About the Preseason Polls . . .
The Eagles received 25 first-place votes and 536 total points among the 43 ballots cast by the media, and received 10 of the 13 first-place tallies and 140 total votes by the league's 14 coaches (coaches don't vote on their own teams). UC Davis was second in both polls with 510 votes by the media and 127 from the coaches, followed closely by Weber State (472, 124). Montana and Montana State flip-flopped the next two places the Grizzlies were picked fourth by the coaches and fifth by the media, and the Bobcats were fourth in the media poll and fifth in the rankings of coaches.
Interestingly, Eastern plays just one of the teams picked from No. 2 to No. 5, playing at Montana on Oct. 26. Besides the game versus the Griz and a Sept. 28 game versus Big Sky defector North Dakota, EWU's league games are versus Sacramento State (11th coaches/12th media), Northern Colorado (13th/13th), Northern Arizona (6th/6th), Idaho State (7th/7th), Cal Poly (9th/9th) and Portland State (10th/10th). Eastern plays Idaho (8th/8th) in a non-conference road game on Sept. 21.
2019 Preseason Football Polls
() Denotes First-Place Votes

Coaches' Poll
1. Eastern Washington - 140 (10)
2. UC Davis - 127
3. Weber State - 124 (2)
4. Montana - 104 (1)
5. Montana State - 100
6. Northern Arizona - 88
7. Idaho State - 72
8. Idaho - 65
9. Cal Poly - 56
10. Portland State - 42
11. Sacramento State - 40
12. Southern Utah - 38
13. Northern Colorado - 19
Media Poll
1. Eastern Washington - 536 (25)
2. UC Davis - 510 (13)
3. Weber State - 472 (4)
4. Montana State - 417
5. Montana - 396 (1)
6. Northern Arizona - 302
7. Idaho State - 285
8. Idaho - 248
9. Cal Poly - 196
10. Portland State - 178
11. Southern Utah - 160
12. Sacramento State - 125
13. Northern Colorado - 90


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